Nancy Griffith at the Lowry
Nancy Griffith at the Lowry Salford March 11 2010
Still Angry after All These Years
When she appeared on stage last night - tiny, birdlike, I worried that the years had taken their toll on the Texan singer songwriter. No need: nothing has affected that clear, insistent voice full of passion, tenderness and rage, sometimes even during the same song.
The set was intoxicating, textured with Maura and Pete Kennedy's subtle harmonies, interweaving guitars and tuned bass solos. The stories that accompanied the songs were entertaining and her humour made the evening very enjoyable. Her singing? As strong and nuanced as ever, showcasing her mastery of a wide range of emotions, from tender to forceful. She was casual and relaxed and made the audience feel like we were in her living room, (complete with table lamps!) listening to an old friend.
Okay, her politics may not be hidden but thanks to both the warmth of Griffith's between-song storytelling and the authenticity of the characters she creates it rarely strayed into preachiness. The evening ended with a standing ovation and then Nancy encored with "Hell No I?m Not All Right" from the throaty end of her vocal register. "Nothing's gonna change/No end in sight," she growls: delivered with gusto, complete with the Clap Brothers - two burly roadies in matching sunglasses. Its lyrics are not overtly political, but there was no question last night about the clarity and direction of the singer's anger.
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